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It is of course a sad sign of the times that the difference between cost and state (or other) financial support for medical training can no longer be filled by some holiday work, a simple bar or waitressing job, or some other such occupation: the time:money equations is now just too tight. For anyone who genuinely feels comfortable with prostitution, the gains per hour taken away from the three vital activities of study, recreation and socialising must be compelling.
Such a medical student on turning doctor is hardly likely to find themselves easily harshly judging others for their choices. A quailty we tend to value highly in doctors. I'm in the middle of teaching on a Med School course that focusses on the care of the whole person - amongst the many areas we touch on is the idea of unconditional positive regard - trying to form a functional caring relationship with people who might otherwise repell or annoy us. I would have thought that any student who had managed to do this kind of work without sustaining psychological damage (an important consideration really) COULD be seen to demonstrate exception skills at non-judgemental engagement with a stranger. Not that I think this is an ideal way of learning or demonstrating such skills, far from it.
Times have changed, but when I think of some of the frankly illegal, distasteful and antisocial goings on among the student body when I was at University, and am strangely NOT left feeling doubtful as to the professional qualities of my peers now they are older and occupying "respected positions in the community". It is a sad kind of politics that makes a man declare that "I did not inhale!".
Prostitution is indeed a "profession" at least as old as our own. And how many marriages, affairs and liasons might otherwise stray very close indeed into "consenting sex with someone you don't love in return for money or financial support".
I would hope that any student taking this path would not be in the same category as the trafficked, the drug addicted and the underage who find themselves compelled against their will to work in this way; I would hope that having consciously made their choice that it was one that they could live with comfortably thereafter; I would not condemn any colleague I discovered had such a past; but I would passionately hope that in the future students absolutely should not have to make this choice.